January: La Francesita Gourmet Bakery Cafe
Founded in 2009, La Francesita Gourmet Bakery Cafe has been serving The Woodlands area since March 2009. The bakery offers authentic Parisian pastries, including croissants, palmiers, galettes, tarts and French breads, all baked fresh daily.
February: Maine-ly Sandwiches
Owned by Mehmet Ozpagda, Maine-ly Sandwiches has been in operation in The Woodlands since March 2018. The sandwich franchise has three locations across the greater Houston area and is primarily known for its lobster rolls.
March: Mary'z Mediterranean Cuisine
After opening in The Woodlands in August 2018, Mary'z Mediterranean Cuisine has focused on serving traditional Lebanese offerings such as shawarma, chicken skewers, hummus and babba ghannouj. The restaurant also has two additional locations in Houston, and it is owned and operated by siblings.
April: Buffalo Run
Owner Raymond Jones opened Buffalo Run in September 2018 after the Racks Bar and Grill he ran closed down following Hurricane Harvey. The restaurant serves a variety of western New York foods, including the beef on weck sandwich. Buffalo Run offers Southern cuisine options like crawfish when it is in season.
May: Mia's Table
Houston native Johnny Carrabba opened a branch of Mia's Table in Shenandoah in 2018. The restaurant offers a variety of classic dishes such as burgers, sandwiches and tacos.
June: Woodson's Local Tap + Kitchen
Opening in March 2017, Woodson's Local Tap + Kitchen owners Adam Lee, Ben Locher and Todd Weaver bring years of experience working together in various restaurants for their guests. The team's menu features Southern barbecue themes, regional drinks and regional beer. The business has since expanded to one additional location.
July: Palette Indian Kitchen
Husband and wife duo Calvin and Sujatha Kolluri opened their restaurant Palette Indian Kitchen in October 2017 because they noticed a lack of ethnic offerings along the Rayford Road corridor. The two offer classic Indian cuisine, and the spices used are imported from India.
August: Sorriso Modern Italian Kitchen
Located in The Westin at The Woodlands, Sorriso Modern Italian Kitchen opened January 2019 and brings a contemporary take on Italian dining and cuisine. The dining area features a bar, outdoor terrace and a main entrance on the street. The restaurant features an evolving menu, brick pizza oven and charcuterie bar.
Chef Austin Simmons says the focus of his restaurant Tris, which opened in September 2018, is on a guest's dining experience. The high-end restaurant focuses on 10-year-aged beef, ribs and steaks while offering a variety of lighter options.
October: La Cocina de Roberto
Inspired by his home cooking, chef and owner Roberto Carlos Rubio said his restaurant La Cocina de Roberto offers a blend of Latin American cultures. The restaurant opened in March 2017 and now offers catering services.
November: Hot Spot
After more than five years serving items out of a food truck, husband and wife Angela and Chad Woods opened Hot Spot Aug. 31 on Rayford Road. The team said there was a lack of authentic Cajun and Creole dining in the area. All of the food at Hot Spot is prepared fresh on a daily basis.
December: TT Pho
Opening in the still-developing Birnham Woods Marketplace in June 2018, owner Thao Vo brought years of home cooking to offer Vietnamese classics to the area. TT Pho offers pho noodle soup, banh mi sandwiches and egg noodle stir fry plates.